know better than

know better

To be aware or capable of better or smarter behavior than one has demonstrated. You know better than to talk to strangers! What were you thinking? You know better than to try to question that professor—he doesn't care what we have to say.
See also: better, know

know better than

be wise, well-informed, or well-mannered enough to avoid doing something specified.
1989 Anne Fine Goggle-Eyes Inspector McGee knows better than to tangle with Beth's granny.
See also: better, know
References in classic literature ?
He must know better than I how great were her powers of self-control.
Richard, ought to know better than I where the twenty thousand francs went to
Richard ought to know better than you where the twenty-thousand francs went to?
Why should I know better than you where the twenty-thousand francs went to?
Of course, I can't explain who it is precisely that I am mortifying in this case by my spite: I am perfectly well aware that I cannot "pay out" the doctors by not consulting them; I know better than anyone that by all this I am only injuring myself and no one else.
Ladies, too, were concerned (I am really afraid I am saying too much) - all sorts of ladies, some old enough to know better than to put their trust in princes, others young and full of illusions.
Survivors know better than anyone the steps we need to take to identify those enslaved and bring to justice those responsible.
As for Amanda Staveley, she should know better than to publicly put words in my mouth - particularly words she knows or should know perfectly well aren't true.
Not the way it feels right now,'' Farmar said, ``but they know better than I do.
Wright should know better than to use such offensive terminology.
Amyl nitrate is the only drug gay people can claim to know better than straight people," wrote journalist Karen West.
Simply put, biblical folk often speak and act as if they know better than God what ought to be done here on earth.
Martin, he should know better than to receive Communion.
Mr Vaughan observes that these four committee members 'seem to think they know better than Bridgend and Swansea Borough Councils, HM Planning Inspectorate and WAG's own Head of Planning Decisions'.
As Euro 2004 has proved, once again, spectators always know better than referees